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5 Development Projects in Montenegro

With only about 600,000 people living within its borders, Montenegro is one of the smallest countries on the Balkan Peninsula of Eastern Europe. Its small status, however, has not diminished its government’s desire for growth and development.

In fact, Montenegro’s somewhat vulnerable economy is set on a path to become part of the European Union by 2020. With the deadline fast approaching, Montenegro, along with the World Bank, have committed a whopping $144 million for 2018 (compared to only $3 million in 2017) toward development projects in Montenegro designed to kick start domestic development.

One of the following five development projects in Montenegro could very well be the key to nation’s economic and political future.

Montenegro First Fiscal and Financial Sector Resilience Policy-Based Guarantee

This is a tremendously important economic stimulation project that aims to reestablish trust between investors and Montenegro’s flux-prone economy. The public financial sectors are at the epicenter of this reform, as a staggering $93 million has been allocated to rebuild investor confidence and stabilize public debt levels for Montenegro’s most infringed people.

Specific measures of the reform include a reduction in wage for government officials, increased supervision of nonbanking financial sectors and pharmaceutical market reform, making medication more accessible and affordable. This is the first of a two-stage fiscal program that Emanuel Salinas, the World Bank Country Manager for Montenegro, believes will help the country “overcome today’s challenges and achieve strong sustained and inclusive growth.”

Industrial Waste Management and Cleanup Project

Montenegro, which literally means “black mountain,” is home to stunning cliffs that run for miles along the Adriatic Sea. Sitting on a grassy knoll overlooking this country’s sloping wild rivers and beautiful clear lakes, one would never imagine that there are disposal sites so contaminated that $68.9 million have been set aside in a direct effort to have them remediated and safe for habitation.

This cleanup project aims to reduce public health risks, such as air pollution and soil erosion, as well as vitalize the country’s tourism sector. The contaminated sites are to be leveled and blanketed by more than 30 centimeters of uncontaminated soil and future waste disposal will be in strict accordance with Montenegrin and E.U. legislation.

Revenue Administration Reform Project

Corruption is a pervasive problem for all facets of bureaucracy in the Montenegrin government. High levels of organized crime activities, such as loan sharking, drug smuggling and human trafficking, have found their way into the offices and juries of Montenegro.

This tax reform project, newly commissioned by the World Bank, is looking to bring functionality back to the countries ravaged revenue administration. Approved on July 31, 2017, this program, if successful, will be vitally important to Montenegro’s mission of joining the E.U.

Montenegro Energy Efficiency Additional Financing

These sustainable energy development projects in Montenegro look to pick up where their original 2008 counterpart leaves off. The additional $6.8 million in funding will help continue the very same efficiency programs that were able to provide nine educational facilities and six health care facilities in Montenegro with energy savings that ranged between 30 and 65 percent. For a country that imports an entire third of its energy, the savings have been two-fold. Montenegro is also one of the only Balkan countries that is actively advancing toward a green future.

Montenegro Institutional Development and Agriculture Strengthening Project

Somewhat famous for its grapes, Montenegro boasts an export of $15 million of wine a year. These development projects in Montenegro intend to manage public funds and focus them more on the agricultural sector, where near 70 percent of Montenegro’s rural population resides. This program has helped thousands of farmers acquire new farming machines and storage units. Ultimately, the project intends to implement a more modern agricultural system in the coming years.

Development projects in Montenegro that focus specifically on domestic improvement radically improve the quality of living for the people working and living on the land. Although there is still much more work to be done, the path is clear for Montenegro to become a fully developed nation. The strides being made by Montenegro today should inspire other Balkan countries to do the same.

– Nicolas Lennan

Photo: Flickr

development projects in moldovaOnce considered one of the richest states in the former Soviet Union, Moldova is currently one of the poorest countries in Europe. The Moldovan economy heavily relies on agriculture. Development projects in Moldova mostly focus on fostering democratic governance and economic growth in the country, and poverty reduction is a primary goal for these projects.

Here are five ongoing development projects in Moldova.

  1. Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP)
    Implemented by Chemonics International, Inc., MCP (2015-2020) aims to improve efficiency and competitiveness in Moldovan industries in order to support Moldova’s efforts to foster a strong, export-oriented economy. Some of the project’s goals include improving the quality of Moldovan products and services, increasing productivity and technical skills in the labor force and expanding market linkages. These goals are expected to increase incomes, reduce poverty and emigration and enable Moldova to compete within the E.U. and other high-value markets.
  2. Development Credit Authority (DCA)
    DCA (2011-2028) helps, “Moldovan financial institutions to increase financing for local small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) through a loan guarantee mechanism.” The main goal is to increase economic opportunities and improve the Moldovan private sector’s competitiveness. Additionally, it aims to improve Moldovan energy efficiency.
    Current DCA programs in the country include two guarantee facilities. One of them supports the Moldovan Information Technology (IT) sector in order to increase loans to IT firms for capital and long-term investments and support loans to IT professionals for mortgages, thereby improving quality of life and providing continued support to investments in the country.
    USAID Moldova and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) launched the second guarantee in 2014 to “support lending to the energy sector,” in order to improve Moldovan SMEs’ efficiency, thereby strengthening their “commercial viability and growth in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
  3. Moldova Sustainable Green Cities
    With a budget of $2.7 million, this project is set to run from 2017 to 2022 and catalyze investments in low carbon green urban development with an integrated urban planning approach. The project seeks to achieve its goal by encouraging innovation and participatory planning and partnerships with various public and private sector entities. The goal is to improve the quality of life and advance opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Moldova. Primarily, the project aims to establish a sustainable Green City Lab that would continue to operate after its closure.
  4. ICT Excellence Center (ICTEC) Project
    Under this 36-month project, USAID will launch and develop an ICT Excellence Center in Moldova in collaboration with the government and the private sector. Through this development project in Moldova, USAID aims to bring “significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as training, practical assignments and mentoring programs” to the country. The project will support the setup and equipment needs, the creation of a relevant business plan, training of qualified staff and the expansion of educational and entrepreneurial development activities.
  5. Export-led Development of Organic Agriculture in Moldova
    Implemented by People in Need, this project builds on previous support for organic agriculture in Moldova. It specifically focuses on developing the local organic market and sustainable extension services, preparing Moldovan farmers to export products for the sustainable “advancement of the entire sector.”

Most of these development projects in Moldova aim to improve its presence within the E.U. and other competitive markets in order to enable the people of this nation to lift themselves to a higher quality of life. With similar continued investment in the Moldovan community, industry and infrastructure, there is hope that Moldova will be able to reach this goal.

– Mehruba Chowdhury

Photo: Flickr

In 2017, the government of Zambia launched it’s seventh National Development Plan (NDP), running until 2021. Through this plan, the Zambian government aims for the country to become a thriving middle-income nation by 2030 by building on previous NDPs. Here are five development projects in Zambia to know about.

  1. Infrastructure is one of the top priority development projects in Zambia, and is upheld in the country’s National Vision 2030. From 2017 to 2021, $8.75 billion will be invested in Zambia’s infrastructure. Some of the funding focuses are $4.7 million in rebuilding railroad transportation, $2.4 million funding the energy sector, $788 million to the airports and $493 million to road funding.
  2. Improving health services is a critical element to achieving the Vision 2030. The health services model has been re-engineered to punctuate health promotion, disease prevention and alternative and rehabilitative services in “close-to-client” settings. In 2017, the Ministry of Health, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zambia, developed the national eHealth 2017-2021 strategy document.
  3. In June 2016, the government of Zambia launched the World Bank-funded project, Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) Project. The $65 million project has the objective to increase livelihood support for women and increasing secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls living in extremely poor households in certain districts. According to the World Bank, the aim of the project is “to provide 14,000 girls with secondary school bursaries, and 75,000 women with productivity grants to start small businesses.” A year later, reports show this development project in Zambia has gained roots. So far, the project has paid the tuition fee of 8,669 girls and counting.
  4. Poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking have Zambia’s tourism under threat. In May 2016, through the Community Forest Program, USAID funded a canine program that combats wildlife crime first hand. Four handlers and their dogs were funded by USAID for the initial three-month intensive program. USAID has reported that the, “highly trained detection dogs have imprinted on the scent of ammunition, bushmeat, ivory, pangolin and weapons such as rifles.” As of September 2017, 23 suspected poachers have been apprehended thanks to the canines, as well as firearms, ivory and live animals.
  5. There has been a paradigm shift in the macroeconomic framework from a sectoral to an integrated development approach. This multisectoral approach aims at dealing with domestic challenges and climate changes, as well as gainful and productive employment. One of the policy’s specific objectives is to create productive job opportunities while improving the country’s competitiveness.

With most of these projects gaining momentum, the outcome for 2021 shouldn’t be a surprise. Development projects in Zambia are not only helping to improve the lives of locals, but also to allow the nation to compete on a global scale.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

development projects in namibiaNamibia lies on the southwest coast of Africa and is comprised of both mountains and desert. The climate and terrain pose multiple challenges to its citizens. Nonetheless, nearly 2.3 million people still inhabit this country, 54.3 percent of which live in rural areas. Here are four development projects in Namibia, many led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) working to make life easier for these citizens.

Scaling up Community Resilience to Climate Variability

Namibia has consistently faced problems over the years relating to water scarcity. In 2013, the country fought an intense drought that endangered one million of the 2.3 million people living there. As one of the driest countries in Southern Africa, Namibian farmers depend on rainy seasons to make a living. It did not arrive in 2013.

This UNDP project focuses on enhancing protective measures to ensure food and water security despite climate variations. The project focuses specifically on women and children. Close to 80 percent of the 4,000 involved households are led by women. The project also includes children from 75 Namibian schools.

The project will result in the use of sustainable agricultural practices and the restoration of wells and floodwater pools by the end of 2019.

Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands (NAFOLA)

Namibia’s forests are vital to its citizens. In such a dry climate, forests promote biodiversity and water conservation, prevent soil erosion and provide food and resources for the Namibian people. Through this five-year project, the goal is to strengthen 11 community forests and promote community use and management of the resources NAFOLA provides.

This is one of the development projects in Namibia that also promotes sustainable agriculture and livestock practices. In turn, it aims to put less pressure on forest resources.

The Global Fund Grant to Combat Tuberculosis

Namibia ranks fourth on the list of countries worst affected by tuberculosis (TB). In 2014, 9,882 people were diagnosed with the disease, a 7 percent decrease from 2013.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has given a $25.6 million grant to the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services to fight Tuberculosis within the country. This project includes enhancing patient quality of care and management of those living with TB and HIV as well as Multi-Drug Resistant TB.

Protected Areas System Strengthening to Sustainably Address New Management Challenges in Namibia (PASS Namibia)

Namibia is home to 21 Protected Areas consisting of forests, deserts and grasslands. These areas are also hosts to a diversity of species which includes mammals, birds and amphibians. Furthermore, 44 percent of this land is under conservation management.

This project was initiated in an effort to make Namibia a more advanced tourist destination. Not only does environmental tourism boost local economies, but it can also provide much-needed revenue to keep up with conservation efforts. The project also hopes to gain support for the implementation of an institutional framework by 2018 that will prolong conservation efforts.

The support of development projects in Namibia can make a significant difference for the citizens who live there. These projects will give Namibians a more sustainable and secure future.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

Five Development Projects in Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is a beautiful country located in the Caribbean. While the nation is still developing, it is making a lot of progress in improving its economic state. These five development projects in Dominica are helping to reduce poverty in the country.

  1. River Defense Wall Project
    Like many Caribbean countries, Dominica is greatly affected by hurricanes. The country aims to lessen the effects of hurricanes with this project. In addition, the River Defense Wall Project has social and economic benefits. Local citizens were hired to help build the wall and it is critical in its ability to preserve human life.
  2. New Housing Project
    Investing in housing is important to developing an economy because it reduces homelessness, which could in turn reduce poverty. This project will create homes, retail outlets and jobs for people in one fell swoop. The homes will reduce homelessness and the outlets will increase foot traffic and spending in the area, which will boost the economy and reduce poverty. Of the current development projects in Dominica, this one could be the most far-reaching.
  3. Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project
    In the late summer of 2017, Dominica was struck by Hurricane Maria. The country needs to rebuild, and this project seeks to aid in that task. The Disaster Vulnerability Project will reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change impacts in Dominica by investing in resilient infrastructure and improving hazard data collection and monitoring systems, according to the World Bank. This project has already helped the country rebuild roads that were damaged by the hurricane.
  4. Small Business Development Project
    It is well known that one way to reduce poverty in a country is to create jobs and develop entrepreneurial skills. This project aims to support small businesses in the country in order to accomplish that goal. The funding from this project goes toward staff training and obtaining equipment that the potential business will need.
  5. The Second Chance School Project
    Another important way to reduce poverty is to invest in education. A person can increase their earnings by 10 percent with every year they are in school. This project’s goal is to improve individuals’ skills in order to better prepare them for the future. It focuses on teaching basic skills, such as woodwork or hospitality, in addition to math and English. Sometimes a trade skill is involved. Because of its collaboration with the From Offending to Achieving program, this project is also being used to educate individuals rather than incarcerate them.

Tourism is a major source of income in Dominica, but that is not necessarily the best way to sustain an economy. With these development projects, Dominica can grow its economy and reduce poverty in many different ways.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

The modern history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is marred by tragedy and injustice. Brutal colonization by the Kingdom of Belgium followed by the assassination of the democratically-elected leader after the nation’s independence from Belgium in 1960 led to a western-backed dictator, Joseph Mobutu, establishing rule. Joseph Mobutu then led the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and renamed the country and its famous river Zaire.

In 1996, rebels finally captured the capital while Mobutu was away for medical treatment; the dictator would die soon after this historic event. Today, as the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo try to move on from their past and make a new future for themselves, violence and turmoil continue to wreak havoc on the state in the form of corruption and rogue rebels.

Aid from abroad is used to stabilize the country, and some of this money goes towards improving the infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is in dire need of repair.

The Congo River

The Congo river is the lifeblood of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its source lies deep within the continent and its end spills into the Atlantic. The Congo river and its tributaries act as the main highway for the country, as no single railway runs the length of the country, and the few paved roads are in disrepair. Moving goods along the river allows them to be brought to the ports at the end of the river and near the coast, where the goods can then be shipped internationally.

Unfortunately, the entire river is not entirely navigable. Short sections of railway and roads are needed to move goods around obstacles such as waterfalls and rapids. According to the CIA, it is due to these obstacles that the river has never been accurately measured.

More innovative minds see the river as more than just a way to move goods and people; they see it as a way to power the country. The DRC lacks the infrastructure to power many of the homes, even within the cities. The African Development Bank group wants to invest $15 million into the feasibility of the Igna 3 project, which is estimated to produce 400,000 megawatts of power upon completion.

International Involvement

The World Bank also works to improve the infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their $147 million project called DRC Electricity Access & Service Expansion (EASE) means to accomplish its namesake by first improving the existing network, especially in critical areas, and then helping the private sector obtain or improve their access to the electrical grid. The project began in May 2017 and is set to be completed by October 2022.

Initially colonized for ivory, slaves and rubber, other nations and international organizations have again taken notice of the rich natural resources within the DRC. For instance, China is one of the most active countries in the improvement of infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2007, the governments of the DRC and China came to an agreement: in return for investment in Congolese infrastructure, China would receive beneficial terms when dealing with the rich natural resources of the DRC (especially copper as the mineral is one of the most valuable).

To access this copper and other resources, the Chinese government agreed to invest $8 billion into infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Much of the work was to be done by Sincomines, a Chinese company, but setbacks due to the instability of the country and lack of infrastructure have made the Chinese more hesitant to continue their work in the DRC.

Infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires the cooperation of many parties in order to see substantial improvement. Hopefully, as different governments, including the DRC’s own, slowly improve the infrastructure, economic political and social stability can be found in the coming years.

– Nick DeMarco

Photo: Flickr

development projects in guineaWith an abundant range of humanitarian and economic issues, foreign aid and development projects in Guinea impact topics ranging from creating sustainable energy sources to fighting and preventing the spread of the Ebola virus. Here are five projects that have contributed to the improvement of Guinea.

  1. The installation of the Kaleta hydropower plant in May of 2015
    Located on the western African shore and home to over 12.6 million people, Guinea contains a large amount of potential energy through 12 main rivers. With only 26 percent of Guinea’s population living with electricity, the potential for hydroelectric energy to improve the country’s situation is huge. Many development projects in Guinea work toward creating accessible electricity, thereby strengthening the country’s ability to react to emergencies such as Ebola.
    According to USAID, in 2015, when Electricité de Guinée (EDG) began its management of the national grid with funding from the World Bank, one huge accomplishment was the installation of the Kaleta hydropower plant. The hydropower plant approximately doubled the output of electricity in Guinea and is beginning to meet the nation’s demand.
  2. China’s response to the Ebola outbreak
    The more access to electricity and communication that Guinea has, the more prepared and reactionary it can be to outbreaks like Ebola. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 11,310 Ebola-related deaths were confirmed in western African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. With an insufficient number of medical supplies and personnel, patients were reported dying while waiting in line for treatment.
    One of several development projects in Guinea was driven by the Chinese government. The Chinese government gave over $4.5 million to West African countries, including Guinea, to fight the recent Ebola outbreak in 2014. China sent medical supplies as well as personnel to assist Guinea in treating patients. All efforts were directly coordinated with WHO as well as with the United Nations.
  3. StopPalu project
    Another disease that wreaks havoc on Guinea’s population is malaria. As a preventable and curable disease, malaria impacts large amounts of Guineans every year following the rainy season, according to USAID. While the disease is treatable, it can be very costly for poor families.
    Garambé, a town in Guinea, was plagued with malaria so frequently that people began accepting it as the norm. USAID’s program, the StopPalu project, aimed to strengthen malaria resistance by 50 percent by 2017, and began distributing 3.3 million insecticide-treated bed nets, proven to have drastically reduced the spreading of malaria, in 2013. According to Assietou Diallo, the head nurse at the Garambé health center, the usual 50 malaria patients per month has been reduced to under 10 patients thanks to preventative measures.
    StopPalu also has trained about 1,300 volunteer medical personnel to help identify and treat malaria. This measure helps patients in remote villages who cannot travel to medical centers.
  4. Girl-friendly school EAF (Aide et Action)
    Another issue that plagues Guinea is the severe lack of education for women and children. About 40 percent of children are out of school, and only about 30 percent of young girls are literate.
    One of the reasons that attendance in schools is so low in Guinea is because many children are tasked with taking care of domestic issues and tending to crops. Without a proper education, issues such as poor family planning and the spread of HIV/AIDS rise to the surface of Guinean societies.
    Girl-friendly school EAF, which lasted from 2014 to 2017, combated these issues by working to improve educational systems in Guinea. This project aimed to improve education in rural areas by training instructors on better methods of teaching as well as on how to remove obstacles that prevent girls from receiving their education. The Turing Foundation contributed €150,000 to this educational development project.
  5. UNITLIFE
    Roughly one out of three children in Guinea are affected by malnutrition and suffer from growth stunts, according to UNICEF. However, several African countries have agreed to a program designed to use micro levies to fund the fight against malnutrition, UNITLIFE, agreeing to use their natural resources to provide nutritious food to hungry children. Adopted in 2015, the levies were predicted to produce $100 million to $200 million in one year.

These development projects in Guinea will pave the way for sustainable prosperity by giving citizens the opportunity to be healthy and well-educated.

– Austin Stoltzfus

Photo: Flickr

The Central African Republic (CAR) is an impoverished country that suffers from continued violence, conflict and instability. As of 2016, the country ranked last out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index. Development projects in the Central African Republic are needed, and thus, many organizations are working in the region.

At a 2016 global conference, the international community pledged $2.2 billion to help meet CAR’s most urgent needs. Here are five development projects in the Central African Republic that are making a difference.

  1. The Rural Connectivity Project in the CAR is working to give people in rural areas greater access to markets and social services. This will be accomplished through rehabilitation and maintenance of roads, resettlement and emergency preparedness. The project has received $45 million to accomplish these objectives.
  2. The LONDO Project is a development project in the Central African Republic that is designed to support social and economic recovery. The project also facilitates peacebuilding in the country. These objectives are achieved through a combination of methods including improving governance, improving infrastructure and increasing employment. Twenty million dollars has been allocated to this project.
  3. The European Commission’s Bêkou Trust Fund Program is seeking to improve the economic and political landscape of the Central African Republic. The goal of the fund is to help the country transition from short-term disaster relief to long-term development. This includes re-establishing essential services and utilities, increasing economic opportunity and working toward political stability.
  4. The Reintegration of Ex-combatants project supports reintegration into communities and works to improve the overall social and economic infrastructure of host communities. This program works in four steps that are represented by the acronym DDRR— Disarmament, Demobilization, Reinsertion and Repatriation. The budget for this project is $30 million.
  5. USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) supports low-emission development in the Central African Republic and the surrounding area. This includes supporting sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. The program is currently in its third phase, which focuses on institutionalizing conservation monitoring approaches. This phase is slated to continue through 2020.

The Central African Republic has a long way to go to recover from decades of conflict and instability. However, with sustained investment from the international community and a focus on long-term development projects in the Central African Republic, the country can begin to provide a safer and more stable way of life to all living there.

– Aaron Childree

Photo: Flickr

infrastructure in BotswanaBotswana is a country in southern Africa, landlocked between Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Gaining independence from the U.K. in 1966, Botswana is considered to be one of the most politically and economically stable countries in Africa, with the Botswana Democratic Party winning every election since independence and the country maintaining a relatively prosperous economy due to mineral extraction, specifically diamond mining. It is no surprise that infrastructure in Botswana is relatively well developed compared to some of its African neighbors. Yet, recent reports have shown a downward trend in various infrastructure sectors, which may be of concern.

Diamond mining is one of Botswana’s most important assets, as diamonds make up more than 60 percent of the country’s exports and around 25 percent of its GDP. The opening of Jwaneng, the world’s richest diamond mine, launched Botswana from being one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest countries in Africa. Currently, Jwaneng alone produces around 2,100 kilograms of diamonds a year. The wealth generated from diamond mining has contributed significantly to an increase in the standard of living in the country and services and infrastructure in Botswana have vastly improved as well.

Botswana’s roads are maintained by the local and central government. 2015 statistics from the Botswana Transport and Infrastructure Statistics Report stated that the total road network equaled 30,275.64 kilometers, with bitumen and gravel roads comprising the majority of the roads at 33 and 35 percent respectively. Travel by road constitutes the majority of travel in Botswana, accounting for 93 percent of passenger transportation. In addition, Botswana has 971 kilometers of railroad laid out and 12 airports with paved runways. Together, they comprise about 7 percent of passenger transportation.

Telecommunication infrastructure in Botswana is also vastly developed thanks to its location. Botswana is located directly north of South Africa, which has allowed the country to follow and access South Africa’s telecommunication infrastructure. Botswana has one of the highest rates of cell phone use on the continent and landline services are provided by the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation. Although slow Internet speeds still remains a problem, Internet usage is increasing, with an estimated 15 percent of the population having access to the Internet, according to the Global Information Technology Report.

In terms of power infrastructure in Botswana, the country produces coal for electricity and oil is imported into the country. Recently, the country has taken a large interest in renewable energy sources and has completed a comprehensive strategy that will attract investors in the wind, solar and biomass renewable energy industries.

There are some reports that infrastructure in Botswana is declining, as just within the past five years the quality of infrastructure has severely fallen, alongside other African countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. However, funding is now being increasingly provided by China, which is playing a huge role in financing infrastructure in resource-rich African nations such as Botswana. The country can use these investments to build on its good infrastructure foundations and continue to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

– Miho Kitamura

Photo: Flickr

development projects in bhutan
Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a small country that sits on the Himalayas’ eastern edge in south Asia. The nation is considered one of the world’s least developed countries, and agriculture is at least 80 percent of Bhutan’s economy. Bhutan has made significant strides in development in recent years, and has been able to maintain solid growth and economic stability.

In 2017, The World Bank approved and funded five development projects in Bhutan. These projects are an effort to further the economic growth of the country.

1. Bhutan BLSS Economic Census

BLSS stands for Bhutan Living Standard Survey and was reintroduced in February 2017. It is a household survey that is taken by the National Statistics Bureau. The survey was previously conducted in 2003, 2007 and 2012. After its introduction in February, the survey was again taken in March 2017. The survey provides many critical indicators, such as the national poverty line and National Accounts statistics.

2. Preparation of Strategic Program for Climate Resilience

The Preparation of Strategic Program for Climate Resilience was introduced in February 2017 and will be completed by September 2019. This long-term plan is meant to help Bhutan improve national climate resilience. The project will build on ongoing activities in Bhutan to incorporate climate resilience in development planning. Bhutan then plans to use the project to help create a climate-resilient investment plan for the country.

3. Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project

The Food Security and Agriculture Productivity Project was introduced in April 2017 and will be completed by December 2022. The project’s goal is to combat Bhutan’s reliance on food imports and to increase local agriculture. Since Bhutan is mainly an agriculture country, this increase will also help lower unemployment and reduce poverty.

4. Bhutan Youth Employment and Rural Entrepreneurship Project

The Bhutan Youth Employment and Rural Entrepreneurship Project was introduced in May 2017 and as of yet, has no closing date. The project’s goal is to increase employment opportunities in Bhutan, specifically for youth; many of the opportunities created are in agriculture. With more job opportunities, the Bhutanese economy will continue to improve as a result of this project. 

5. Strengthening Public Financial Management Project

The Strengthening Public Financial Management Project was introduced in September 2017 and will conclude in January 2021. The project’s goal is to help the Bhutanese manage their budget and public funds more efficiently. This will help the development and strengthening of public services and governance.

With the approval of these five development projects in Bhutan, The World Bank has loaned the Royal Government of Bhutan over 15 million U.S. dollars. The World Bank has worked closely with Bhutan since 1998 when Bhutan’s first project was approved.

The goal of these five development projects in Bhutan is to increase employment opportunities, decrease national poverty and strengthen Bhutan’s economy. Though it is still too early to see any significant changes since these five development projects in Bhutan were implemented, these efforts have laid a satisfying groundwork for the Bhutanese to build on.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr